8. The Nusayri “Trinity: Ali, Muhammad and Salman al-Farisi

6. The Nusayris Religious System: The Apotheosis of Ali
December 10, 2015
7. The Nusayri Concept of Light: Shamsis and Qamaris
December 10, 2015

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The Nusayri “Trinity”

Ali, Muhammad, and Salman al Farisi


As noted in chapter 26, the Nusayri trinity comprises the Mana (Ali), the Ism (Muhammad), and the Bab (Salman al Farisi). The position of Ali in this trinity is discussed in chapter 27; here we shall discuss the positions of its other members.


The second person of the Nusayri trinity is the Ism, Muhammad, whose manifestations took place in the second period of Ali, considered the consummate period of the seven manifestation of God. The first appearance of the Ism in human form was Adam, and the last was Muhammad. The Shamalis consider Muhammad, as the Ism, to be their Lord, yet he occupies a position secondary to that of Ali. It was Ali, as God, who created Muhammad from the light of essence and taught him the Qur’an. Ali made Muhammad a light, extracted from the essence of his meaning; he called him by his name Muhammad, and elected him. He said to him, “Be the cause of causes, and framer of the Bab (door) and the Hijab (veil).”[1] The phrase “cause of causes” suggests that the office of Muhammad as the Ism is like that of a demiurge, through which God (Ali) created the worlds, and to whom He entrusted the administration of the universe.[2] In a way, Muhammad occupies the same position as the Logos in Christianity. Yet, unlike the Logos, who is begotten, not made, and who is one with the substance with the Father, Muhammad, as stated in Kitab al Mashyakhah, is the “best of created beings.”[3]


The Nusayri catechism lists many names in which Muhammad appeared. Some indicate the divine attributes of Muhammad, and others are merely abstract names. Among the divine names listed are the mysterious “Madd al Madd” in the Torah, the “Redeemer” in the Zabur (psalms), the “Paraclete” in the gospels (the Holy Spirit is known by this name in the New Testament), and Muhammad in the Qur’an. The most important abstract names given to Muhammad are “Will,” “Perception,” and “Might.”[4]


The Ism is also the Hijab (veil, or intermediary) through whom the God Ali revealed himself to mankind. It is the Ism who veils the brightness of their God from the eyes of human beings. The Hijab is frequently mentioned and elaborated on in Nusayri writings in association with the deity.[5] Question 4 of the catechism asks, “If Ali is God, how did he take man’s nature?” the answer is, “He did not take it, but he veiled himself in the period of his change of forms and took the name of Ali.”[6] This means that the divinity of Ali is so bright that no mortal can look at it directly, without a veil. Thus, Muhammad became the veil of the God, Ali, in whom Ali was concealed and through whom He manifested Himself to mankind.[7]


According to al Khasibi, God is inwardly Muhammad, and Muhammad is outwardly God. God represents the power of the divinity, allowed to be named Muhammad or Ali, but no one is permitted to be named God.[8] As al Nashshabi explains in his Munazara, Muhammad and Ali are but two name of the Godhead; the God, Mana, revealed his essence to no one but Muhammad, and Muhammad was the only one worthy to be the veil of God.[9]


In Risalat al Tawhid (Treatise in the unity of God), as related by the Nusayri writer Ali ibn Isa al Jisri, a disciple of al Khasibi, there is a tradition in which the Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam reportedly said, “I am from Ali and Ali from me,” meaning that Muhammad is Ali’s name, spirit, soul, and word. In essence, the Mana is one, the Ism is one, and the Bab is one, no matter how their names and attributes change. The Mana, the Ism, and the Bab are one.[10]


Muhammad is the pathway that leads to Ali, in accordance with the sayings, “No one knows God except God Himself,” “God can only be known by God Himself,” and “No one can indicate to God except he who is for God.”[11] In summation, when Ali as the divine Mana wanted to call mankind to himself, he inspired and guided the people through Muhammad, who became the intermediary between God and man.[12] Whatever Muhammad’s position in the religious system of the Nusayris, they believe Ali and only Ali to be worthy of their adoration.


The third person of the Nusayri trinity is the Bab. In the time of Adam, the Bab was the Angel Gabriel, and in the time of Ali, Salman al Farisi (the Persian). In the third Nusayri (mass), entitled Quddas alAdhan (call to prayer) is the statement, “I testify that the is no God but Ali, the prince of bees, with the bald forehead, the adorable, and no Hijab but Lord Muhammad, the unsurpassed, the all-glorious, the august, the worthy-to-be-praised, and no Bab but Lord Salman al Farisi, the pattern.” In the same mass, Salman is also called “God’s noble Bab, whereby alone one comes to God,” and “Salasal, Salsabil.” (Both these words mean sweet water. The latter is believed by Muslims to refer to the Spring of Sweet Water in Paradise.)[13] In another source, the same Salman is called not only Salsal and Salsabil, but Gabriel. (Divine Guidance and Indubitable Truth); it is even said, “He is truly the Lord of all worlds.”[14]


As we have already indicated, Massignon seems to believe that Salsal derives from silsilah (chain, or link) and is applied to Salman, who is considered the “lost link” between Muhammad and Ali. He also quotes a Druze source to show that the Druzes consider Salman the silsilah (chain) of the Aqsa Mosque, at which people make their oaths.[15]


But why should a man from far-away Persia, whose history and personality are shrouded in mystery, occupy such a prominent position in Islamic tradition and serve as a link between the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and Ali ? Salman al Farisi (the Persian) has been and still a subject of controversy in the history of Islamic tradition.


In the accounts he published between 1909 and 1913, Clement Huart denied the historical existence of Salman al Farisi, although he admitted that there was a Salman present at the Battle of Khandaq (trenches), fought by the Prophet of Islam in 627 against the Meccan confederate tribes (Ahzab).[16]


In 1922, Josef Horovitz attempted to establish that a tradition in which Salman al Farisi advised the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam to have a ditch dug to halt the advance of the attacking the Meccan tribes is nothing but a fable created by Muslim writers to embellish the victory of the Muslims over the Meccans and make this Salman the Persian, about whom nothing is known, a Persian engineer and Mazdakian convert to Islam who became the private counsellor of Muhammad. Massignon, who disagrees with this opinion, tries to demonstrate that Salman al Farisi was a true historical figure. He bases his analysis and conclusion on early Islamic sources, from Abu Ishaq al Subayi and Ismail al Suddi (both of whom died in 127/744) to Ali ibn Mihzayar (d. 210/825).[17]


According to these sources, Salman was born to a noble Persian family and was raised in the Mazdakian religion, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism. He is identified as either Mabah, son of Budkhasan, or Rawzabah, son of Marzaban. While on a hunting trip, he passed a Christian monastery, where he heard the chanting of hymns and prayers and became fascinated with Christian worship. He converted to Christianity and decided to live a pious life, abstaining from drinking wine and eating the flesh of animals slaughtered by the Mazdakians.[18] Salman travelled from city to city, stopping at Hims, Damascus, Jerusalem, Mosul, Nisibin, Antioch, Amuriya, and Alexandria in Egypt, always staying with the people of zuhd (piety). While in Alexandria, he learned that the imminent appearance of a nabi was expected in Arabia. Leaving Alexandria to meet the new nabi , he was betrayed by his guides, who sold him to some Arabians, who in return sold him to a Jew named Uthman al Ashhal, of the Qurayzah tribe. (Some sources say he was sold as a slave to either a Jewish or an Arabian woman.) Eventually, Salman heard of Muhammad and went to Makkah to look for him, believing that he was a new Nabi. When he saw Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, he searched his body and saw the sign of nubuwwah in the form of a fleshy growth on his right shoulder. Upon recognising Muhammad as the newly sent Prophet, Salman converted to Islam. He was emancipated and became the first Persian to convert to Islam, and the Prophet called him Salman.[19]


Salman occupies a prominent position in the early history of Islam. His wisdom, piety, and knowledge of the religions Persia and of Christianity were undoubtedly assets to the new Rasul Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and his small band of followers. This wisdom was manifested when he advised the Rasul to dig a ditch to foil the attack of the Meccans against Madinah. His advice must have been well received, for both the Muslims of Madinah (the Supporters) and the Muslims of Makkah (the Immigrants) claimed Salman as one of their own. The Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam solved the problem by proclaiming Salman a member of the family of the Rasul; hence the tradition, “Salman minna Ahlul Bayt,” meaning Salman is counted as a member of the Rasul’s family.[20]


The Ismailis go step further, maintaining that Salman delivered the whole Qur’an to Muhammad, and that the Angel Gabriel, through whom God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad, was none other than Salman, who carried this divine revelation.[21] Thus, from the earliest period of Islam, Salman was considered a pious Muslim who possessed al Ilm al Ladunni (knowledge imparted directly by God through mystic intuition).


Because of this knowledge, and because he was counted as a member of the Ahlul Bayt, we can understand the prominent position of Salman in the traditions of Islam. This is attested to by Ali, who likened Salman to the Qur’anic figure Luqman, the Sage, affirming that he was “one of us [the family of the Rasul] who has known as the first and the last Ilm [divine knowledge], and read the first and last books. He is an inexhaustible sea.”[22]


From the time of Muhammad, Salman was associated with other Sahabah of the Rasul who figure greatly in the religious system of the Nusayris. These Aytam (incomparables) as the Nusayris call them, were the first Shia (supporters of Ali). According to one tradition, the Rasul said, “Paradise longs to meet four: Ali, Ammar, Salman, and al Miqdad.”[23] These supporters of Ali are so important that the Shia chose four men whom they called Nuqaba’ and later Arkan (pillars), namely, Salman, Abu Dharr, al Miqdad ibn al Aswad, and Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman. They, so Ali ibn Ibrahim (al Qummi) maintains, are the ones referred to in the Qur’an verse: “The true believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe at the mention of God… They are those who put their trust in their Lord, pray steadfastly, and bestow the alms that which we have given them” (Qur’an 8:2).[24] As shall be seen later, the Nusayris maintain that the Aytam were created by Salman al Farisi.


In the light of this account of Salman, his portrayal as one of the first Muslims to support Ali’s right to Imamah is of utmost significance to the Shia. They consider him no ordinary man, but one who possessed of divine wisdom and knowledge of prior religions. According to Islamic legend, he lived early enough to have been the contemporary of Jesus Christ and His disciples. In this sense, it is believed that Salman became the link between Christianity and Islam, and the one who proclaimed the appearance of the new Rasul, that is, Muhammad. Ibn Ishaq, the earliest biographer of the Rasul, relates a tradition in which Muhammad is reported to have said to Salman, “If you trust me, O Salman, I believe that you met Isa [Jesus] `alayh al-Salam, the son of Mary.”[25] To the Shia , the longevity of Salman (he is believed to have lived since the time of Christ) and his possession of divine knowledge established him as a witness of the ambiya’ of old and their message, especially the relations between Moses and Aaron, which Muhammad cited to show the relation between himself and Ali, in the tradition, “You [Ali] are in the same position to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no nabi after me.”[26] The Shia often cite this tradition to show that Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam designated Ali as his successor through the Wasiyyah (testamentary trust) and confirmed him in the office of the Imamah, as Moses designated Aaron as his successor.


The witness to this tradition is Salman, who lived an uncommonly long time and acquired divine knowledge that qualified him to proclaim Ali as the rightful heir to the Rasul.[27] It is in this sense that Salman becomes the “lost link” of divine authority between Ali and Muhammad. It is in the same sense that the Shia give great weight to Salman’s association with both Ali and the Rasul especially with the latter, who counted Salman as the member of the Ahlul Bayt to legitimise their claim that the Rasul appointed Ali as his successor and leader (Imam) of the Muslim community. Salman not only was considered the example of a faithful, true, and pious Muslim; he was, as the Rasul said, “the Ibn [son] of Islam.”[28]


In summary, to the Twelver Shia, who maintain the divine authority of twelve Imam’s, Salman is the divine counsellor whom the Rasul left for Ali, so that all Muslims recognise Ali as the sole Imam and heir to the Rasul, based on the divine testimony of Salman, and so that they should realise that the office of the Imamah, or Khilafah, was meant exclusively for Ali. Through the machinations of some of the companions of the Prophet salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam (Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as presumed by the Shia), however, this office was usurped from Ali. The witness again was Salman, who unleashed his resources to defend Ali’s right to the Imamah according to Shia belief.[29]


To the Shia, he was also honoured as a witness of Ali’s right to the Imamah. But as time went on and struggle between the Shia emerged, including Muhammad Abu al Khattab (d. 138/755), who deified the Imams. It is also natural for them to deify Salman, the arch defender of Ali’s right to the Imamah, and to call him Salsal and Salsabil, the two epithets which begins with the letter S, as does the name Salman.[30]


Thus, we find Muhammad al Ash’ari (d. 324/935) stating, “In our time, there are those who assert the divinity of Salman al Farisi.”[31] Some of these Ghulat (extremists) sects evidently regarded Ali, Muhammad, and Salman al Farisi as divine, and placed great spiritual importance on their names, referring to them by their initial letters, AMS.


We learn from the Ismaili writer Abu Hatim al Razi (d. 934), in his Kitab al Zina, that the Ayniyyah, (from ayn the initial letter of Ali), asserted the divinity of both Ali and Muhammad, giving preference to the former, while the Mimiyyah, (from mim the initial letter of Muhammad), asserted the divinity of both Ali and Muhammad but preferred Muhammad to Ali.[32]


Al Razi goes on to say that one of the Ghulat is the Salmaniyyah sect, whose adherents maintain that Salman al Farisi was a nabi. Others, al Razi continues, proclaim that he was divine. They base their belief in Salman’s divinity on Qur’an 43:45, where God tells Muhammad, “Question our apostles whom we send before you,” Salman being an apostle having been sent before Muhammad. They justify this allegorical interpretation by saying the name Salman sounds identical to the Arabic words Sal man (“question whom”). Al Razi concludes that some of the Ghulat exaggerated Salman’s role to the point of giving him precedence over Ali.[33]


One of these Ghulat sects must have been the Nusayris, who assert that Ali, Muhammad, and Salman al Farisi are a triune God symbolised by the letters ayn, mim, and sin. They must have emerged as a Ghulat group in the second century of the Islamic era (eighth century A.D), and mixed with other Ghulat groups such as Siniyyah (already mentioned), the Alyaiyyah, and Khattabiyyah, founded by Abu al Khattab, a contemporary of the Imam Jafar al Sadiq (d. 765). They remained without a distinct identity until the next century, when Muhammad ibn Nusayr, who claimed to be the Bab of the eleventh Imam, al Hasan al Askari (d. 873), became independent of the latter and founded Nusayrism. The great apostle and propagator of Nusayrism, al Khasibi (d. 957), has left us very important evidence indicating that the Prophet Muhammad called Salman al Farisi the Bab, the very position the Nusayris assign to Salman in their trinity.


According to al Khasibi’s account, Muhammad ibn Abi Zainab al Asadi, known as Abu al Khattab, one of the Ghulat already mentioned, was in the company of the Imam Jafar al Sadiq, when the latter turned to him, saying that he wanted to address him as his great-grandfather, the Rasul, had addressed Salman. Al Sadiq went on to say that one day Salman was in the company of the Rasul, who addressed him thus, “Salman, you have become the vessel of our knowledge, the mine of our mystery, the central points of our commands and interdicts, and the educator of the believers in our religious practices and moral conduct. By Allah! You are the Bab who transmitted our knowledge, and from you emanates the divine knowledge of revelation (tanzil) and the allegorical interpretation (ta’wil) of Qur’an, and the hidden mystery and the secret of this mystery. Blessed are you at the beginning and the end, outwardly and inwardly, living and dead. I am addressing you, O Muhammad [Abu al Khattab], as my great-grand father the Rasul addressed Salman.”[34] Later we shall see the significance of Abu al Khattab, an extremists Shia, in the discussion of Nusayri festivals.


It is clear from this tradition that (according to the Shiite hypothesis) the Prophet Muhammad was the first to call Salman the Bab, through whom the divine knowledge of the ancients was transmitted. Salman was also recognised by the Prophet as the source from whom this knowledge emanated. He was the trusted transmitter of the tradition of the Prophet; He was the first and most illustrious of the Muslims. He was called, as has been stated earlier, the Son of Islam. The Nusayris made Salman, whom they called Salsal and Salsabil, the fountain of water in paradise, according to Islamic tradition. In Kitab al Mashyakhah we find the following references to Salman, “O God, be favourable to our Lord Muhammad and the family of our Lord Muhammad, and to Salsal and the family of Salsal, the light that disperses the darkness,” and, “May God cause us and you, O brethren, to drink a draught from the palm of Salsal.”[35]


In his introduction to Kitab Majmu’ al Ayad, al Tabarani, invoking the God Ali to pray over his Name [Muhammad], states, “… and also pray over the most shinning light, the brightest lamp, the path, the Bab, the cause of causes, the faithful spirit, the refreshing water, the deliverance of those who seek him, the destroyer of tyrants, the possessor of plain [divine] ways, the audience and guidance, the one who sets up stations [of men], the creator of clouds, the Great Bab Salsal, through whom the gnostic attains to the God Ali.”[36] Indeed, there is hardly a supplicatory prayer appended to the different festivals in this book which does not praise Salman and invoke his divine aid, along with that of Ali and Muhammad. In the discourse of the Fitr festival, the Nusayri believers invoke the God Ali to pray to “the Bab of your mercy and beginning of your wisdom,” and in the Khutbah (sermon) for the Adha festival, after invoking the God Ali and Muhammad, the believers bear testimony that “the Lord Salman is the path of deliverance and the cause of life for all the learned believers.”[37]


In the Nusayri religious system, Salman like the Mana and the Ism, appears under different names in the seven periods of manifestation of the deity. Questions 22 and 42 of Kitab Ta’lim al Diyanah al Nusayriyyah furnish the names Salman. He is called the Faithful Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Universal Soul, the Lord of Men, Mount Sinai, the Ark of Noah, the Throne of God, Gabriel, the Evidence, the Apostle, the Omniscient (the perfect soul) and the Cow [in the second chapter of the Qur’an], just to mention a few.[38]


Salman is also identified with zakat, or alms (religious tithes), as the Rasul is with salah (prayer). According to a verse ascribed to al Khasibi, “Salman is zakat [alms], the Door (who is also the angel Gabriel), besides whom there is no guide to the Apostle [Muhammad].”[39] Such symbolism is used by the Nusayris to show that Muhammad and Salman represent spiritual as well as worldly concerns.


It is important to point out that the Nusayris believe Salman appeared in Persian periods, one of the periods of seven manifestations, in the persons of Persians Bahmans (kings), among whom were Firuz, Anushirwan, Bahram, Feridun, and others.[40] Once more we see the Persian roots of some of the Nusayris’ tradition, although there is no evidence that Salman impressed his Persianism on the Rasul or on Islamic tradition.


Above all, in the Nusayri religious system, Salman is the Bab, created by Muhammad in the obedience to the command of his Lord, the End of Mana (Ali). For this reason, Salman calls the Rasul “my most great Lord.”[41] He is the only Door which leads to the Mana, the casual determinant (Ali), through the name (Muhammad). No one comes to the God Ali except through him.[42] He is the teacher of men, a guide to apostle of Muhammad, whose office is only that of intermediary between Ali and Salman.[43]


In this sense, the office of the Bab seems to complete the Nusayri system of the threefold manifestation of their deity. Indeed, this office is essential to the Nusayri system, because without the Bab no one can know or approach the Mana. In the judgement of the author, the office of the Bab forms the corner stone of the Nusayri belief in the divine and infallible authority of the twelve Imams’ and perpetuation of this authority in the person of Muhammad ibn Nusayr, founder of Nusayrism, as the Bab and heir of the Imams.


NEXT⇒ The Twelve Imams


[1] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 124; and Kitab Ta’lim al Diyanah al Nusayriyyah, Arab MS. 6182, question 11 and 72, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[2] See the review of Lyde’s, The Asian Mystery by Charles Henry Brigham in North American Review 93 (1861): 355.

[3] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 124, n. 2.

[4] Kitab Ta’lim al Diyanah al Nusayriyyah, question 16 and 18, Arab MS. 6182, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[5] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 122.

[6] Kitab Ta’lim al Diyanah al Nusayriyyah, question 4, Arab MS. 6182, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[7] Cf. al Hariri, al Alawiyyun al Nusayriyyun, 51.

[8] See Masa’il, related by Saigh of his master, Arab MS, 1450, fol. 53, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[9] Munazara, Arab MS. 1450, fols. 95-96, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[10] Ibid., fol. 47; Risalat al Tawhid, related by Jisri, Arab MS. 1450, fol. 46, Bibliothèque Nationale; and al Hariri, al Alawiyyun al Nusayriyyun, 63.

[11] See Kitab al Usus, Arab MS. 1449, fol. 1, Bibliothèque Nationale; Kitab al Usaifir, Arab MS. 1450, fols. 11 and 18, Bibliothèque Nationale. Cf. Al Hariri, al Alawiyyun al Nusayriyyun, 47.

[12] Munazara, Arab MS. 1450, fols. 95-96, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[13] See this third Quddas in al Adani, Kitab al Bakhurah, 40; and the anonymous tract, Arab MS. 1450, fol. 55, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[14] Kitab al Majmu’, Surah 5, in al Adani Kitab al Bakhurah, 18; and Catafago, “Drei Meesen der Nosairier,” 393 and Kitab al Siraht, Arab MS. 1449, fol. 122, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[15] Masignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam, 37, n. 3.

[16] Ibid., 8.

[17] Ibid., 8; 13-14; and I. Horovitz “Salman al Farisi,” Der Islam 12 (1922); 178-83. Other sources Massignon cites are Ubaid al Muktib (d. 140/757), Ibn Ishaq (d. 150/767), Abdul Malik al Khathami (d. 180/796), and Sayyar al Anzi (d. 199/814).

[18] Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam iranien, 13-14; Muhammad al Zahri known as Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat al Kubra, 4:53-57; Ibn Hisham, al Sirahh al Nabawiyyahh, ed. Mustafah’ al Saqqa et al. (Cairo: Mustafah’ al Babi al Halabi, 1375/1955), 214-17; Ma’sum Ali; Tara’iq al Haqa’iq, 2:2; and al Sha’ibi, al Sila bayn al Tasawuf wa al Tashayyu’’, 25.

[19] Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 14, Ibn Sad, al Tabaqat al Kubra, 4:53-57; Ibn Hisham, al Sirahh al Nabawiyyahh, 1:218-20, Jamal al Din Abu al Faraj ibn al Jawzi, Sifat al Safwa, 1:523-56; Abu Nu’aym al Isfahani, Hilyat al Awliya’, 1:192; Ma’sum Ali, Tara’iq al Haqa’iq, 2:2; al Subayti, Salman al Farisi, 2nd. Ed. (Baghdad: Matba’at al Azhar, 1969), 22.

[20] Jamal al Din Abu al Faraj ibn al Jawzi, Sifat al Safwa, 1: 535, Massignon, Salman Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 16-17; al Subayti, Slaman al Farisi, 26-27; Ibn Hisham, al Sirahh al Nabawiyyahh, 1:70; and al Sha’ibi, al Sila bayn al Tasawuf wa al Tashayyu’, 19, 26, and 30-31.

[21] Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 33. On Salman as the angel Gabriel, see Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, 72 and 124-126.

[22] Jamal al Din Abu al Faraj ibn al Jawzi, Sifa al Safwa, 1:546. For the tradition related of the fifth Imam al Baqir by Jabir al Jufi, see Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, 144.

[23] For the Aytam see Risalat al Tawhid, Arab MS. 1450, fols. 55-57 and Abu Nu’aym al Isfahani, Hilyat al Awliya’, 1:211.

[24] Ibn Ibrahim, Tafsir, 287.

[25] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, 1:222. On the continued presence of Salman from Christ down to Muhammad, see Corbin, “Le Livre du Glorieux de Jabir ibn Hayyan,” Emranos-Jahrbuch, 18 (1950): 47-114.

[26] Al Mas’udi, Muruj al Dhahab, 2:301; Abu al Husayn Muslim, Sahih Muslim (Cairo: Matbat Muhammad Ali, 1334/1915), 7:120-21; and Ibn Ibrahim, Tafsir, 159.

[27] Al Sha’ibi, al Sila bayn al Tasawuf wa al Tashayyu’, 28.

[28] Al Nawbakhti, Firaq al Shia, 58.

[29] Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 35.

[30] Ibid., 37. On Abu al Khattab, see al Ash’ari, Kitab al Maqalat, 10-11; Abdul Qahir al Baghdadi, al Farq bayn al Firaq, 247-48; and al Razi, Kitab al Zina, 289.

[31] Al Ash’ari, Kitab al Maqalat, 13.

[32] Al Razi, Kitab al Zina, 307; and al Shahrastani, Kitab al Milal, 2:13.

[33] Al Razi, Kitab al Zina, 306; and Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 42-49. It is interesting that although al Razi is an Ismaili writer, he appears neutral as a heresiographer. This becomes more puzzling when we realise that in Umm al Kitab, a proto-Ismaili source of the eighth century, Salman appears as a divinity who is God’s messenger, and His Bab (door), His Book (Qur’an), His Throne, His Right Hand, His Trustee, and His Hijab (veil). See Umm al Kitab, 139 and 172; and Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, 171.

[34] This tradition related by al Khasibi, appears in Husayn Muhammad Taqi al Tabarsi al Nuri, Nafas al Rahman fi Ahwal Salman (Tehran, 1285/1868), part 5, 53; see also, Massignon, Salman Pàk et les Prémices Spirituelle de l’Islam Iranien, 48.

[35] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 130.

[36] Al Tabarani, Kitab al Majmu’ al Ayad, ed. Strothman, in Der Islam, 27:23.

[37] Ibid., 23 and 67. In Risalat al Tawhid, Arab MS. 1450, fol 47 Bibliothèque Nationale, Salman is considered as the creator of the world.

[38] Kitab Ta’lim al Diyana al Nusayriyya, Arab MS. 6182, question 23, fol. 6, Bibliothèque Nationale. In the prologue of Shah Nama-ye Haqiqat, Salman Pak (pure) appears as the terrestrial typification of Gabriel. See also Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, 72, no. 3.

[39] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 129.

[40] Ibid., in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 131; and al Tabarani, Kitab Majmu’ al Ayad, ed. Strothman, 209-22.

[41] Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery,, 131.

[42] See Arab MS. 1450, fol. 55, Bibliothèque Nationale and the Third Quddas (called Quddas al Adhan) in al Adani, Kitab al Bakhurah, 41.

[43] Kitab Ta’lim al Diyanah al Nusayriyyah, Arab MS. 6182, question 24-29; Bibliothèque Nationale; and Kitab al Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 131.

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